HAMMOND | Adam Cooper envisions a time when he starts his own business or assumes a strong leadership role with an established firm that positively impacts society.
“I’ve had an interest in public service for as long as I can remember,” the 23-year-old, Purdue University Calumet senior and Munster resident said. “I like to contribute and positively affect those around me.”
That’s exactly what he plans to do during the 2013-14 academic year as Purdue Calumet’s elected Student Government president. After attending a downstate, liberal arts college during his freshman and sophomore years, Cooper transferred to Purdue Calumet to study accounting, to be closer to home and to get involved locally.
“I like to support causes,” he said. “When I got here, I wanted to support this university and help it to be the best it can be.”
His zest for involvement connected him with Purdue Calumet’s Finance and Accounting Club, Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and Environmental Club, for which he served as president. He also found Student Government to be an ideal venue for advancing the campus.
After serving as a representative, the Secretary of Technology on the Executive Board and a senator representing the College of Business, he was elected president last spring.
“My two primary goals are improving campus communication and getting students more engaged,” he said. “I really believe in trying to get students connected to their campus.”
Refusing to wait for Monday’s (8/19) start of the academic year to get his presidency moving, Cooper has met this summer with Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon; campus vice chancellors; and members of the university’s Advancement, University Relations and Marketing staff. He also attended the National Campus Leaders Council summit for college and university student leaders in Washington, D.C.
“It was inspiring to learn what (student government on) other campuses have done,” he said about the summit. “It also formed a bridge between student campus leaders and national leaders. It put us in proximity with individuals making policy decisions. We were encouraged to get involved in national discussions on very important topics, and I found that encouragement particularly inspirational.”
But the Purdue Calumet student leader didn’t need much of an inspirational nudge.
“When I was in elementary school, we would say the Pledge of Allegiance every day; then we stopped doing it, and that really bothered me,” he said. “I guess you could say that’s when I started getting interested in public service and supporting various causes.”
...Such as environmentalism and wise use of natural resources.
“It’s hard to ignore problems in the world,” he said. “Whatever someone else is experiencing affects all of us, so I want to do what I can to help.”
Reflecting on his decision to transfer to Purdue Calumet three years ago, he said, “Here, I am much more at ease; I can be myself. I also like the more focused nature of the academic programs offered. Being close to home with affordable tuition and many opportunities to develop as a leader…definitely, this is a good place for me.”